Feeds

New avast freebie security scanner aims to keel-haul MS

Free 5.0 tweaked to work faster on multiple cores

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Updated A new version of avast aims to offer users of free anti-malware technology faster running protection against the latest hacking attacks, while offering alternatives to AVG and Microsoft Security Essentials.

avast Free 5.0 comes with the same engine under its bonnet as its premium sibling, avast Pro Antivirus 5.0. Both versions have been optimised to run faster on the multiple PC processor cores common with the latest desktop and netbook PCs. Tests run on notebooks running Intel Core i5 mobile showed a 40 per cent speed boost for avast 5.0, compared to the previous version (avast 4 Home Edition) as a result of this optimisation work.

ALWIL also introduced a new premium Internet Security suite on Wednesday, which offers firewall and anti-spam services in addition to anti-malware protection.

avast Pro Antivirus 5.0 debuts new sandboxing technology not found in the freebie version of the antivirus scanner software, as well as features aimed as making the software a better fit for small businesses and more tech-savvy users. The free version, by contrast, is aimed at home users, schools and charities.

ALWIL Software, the Czech Republic firm behind avast, is bullish in suggesting Microsoft's introduction of a freebie anti-virus scanner for consumers last September will not affect its business model.

"We sure don't see any impact to our user base since the MSE introduction," Milos Korenko, avast marketing director at ALWIL told El Reg. "To the contrary, the rate new-user-increase has accelerated even before the launch of [avast] v5.0."

ALWIL remains committed to converting users of the freebie version of its product into paying customers.

"We believe that by showing these communities the full potential of our software, these groups will continue to advocate our brand into the wider commercial market," said Vince Steckler, chief exec of ALWIL Software.

Steckler added that two out of every three avast users discovered the software through a friend’s recommendation.

The freebie version of the avast scanner has registered 100 million times since its introduction in 2004, according to ALWIL. Home users normally need to register and submit their email address after using the product for 30 days. ALWIL, in common with AVG, does not disclose conversion rates for free to paid-for users.

Google is bundling avast 5.0 free with select European versions of its Google Pack consumer utility software bundle, a factor ALWIL hopes will stimulate yet more downloads. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.